DURHAM, N.C. — The Elon University women’s basketball team was unable to knock off a ranked opponent for the first time in school history, as the No. 21 Duke University put together a strong second half to beat Elon 68-61 Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Phoenix battled hard behind freshman center Ra’Shika White, who scored a team high 17 points in the second half alone and posted seven rebounds in her first game after being named the Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) Rookie of the Week.
“At the beginning of the game, I was really off,” White said. “When we went to the locker room at halftime, I told myself, 'I've got to pick it up because my team needed me.’”
Duke junior guard Lexie Brown had a night to remember, with a game high 25 points on 7-12 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Brown was asked about her performance following the game, and was quick to identify the impact her teammates had on her success.
“I was just getting open shots,” Brown said. “My teammates did a really good job setting screens, setting me up for easy scores.”
A six minute scoreless run in the second quarter saw the Phoenix miss ten consecutive field goal attempts, but its defense was able to play tough and maintain a manageable deficit. After the game, head coach Charlotte Smith expressed her thoughts about that grueling stage of the match.
“We just weren’t hitting shots,” Smith said. “We got some really good looks but we weren’t able to finish and I
felt that we didn’t get second chance opportunities.”
Elon put together an 8-2 run that succeeded its scoring drought and cut the home team’s lead to just 3; Duke quickly responded with a 10-2 run of its own that ended up generating enough momentum for the No. 21 Blue Devils to walk away with a victory.
One interesting moment that received heightened media attention came near the halfway mark in the first quarter when Phoenix senior guard Maddie McCallie, daughter of Duke head coach Joanne McCallie, checked into the game. Maddie became only the third women’s basketball player in the history of the National College Athletic Association to face off against her parent. McCallie finished with three points.
This loss marks three straight for Elon, all against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. Elon will take a week off for finals before traveling to East Tennessee State University for a 2 p.m. game Dec. 17.